Last August, I lost my best friend, James Blaast (yes, with two 'a''s). Him living in Glasgow, and me living here didn't detract anything from our friendship, which, as I upload this new and improved version of this cover song, would have been on its ten year anniversary. A heart attack two days after his 58th birthday decided otherwise, and, perhaps for the first time ever, showed me the true extent of grief at the death of a person dear to me.
I'll keep things short : even though we had known each other for about a year, our friendship kicked in because I sent him an early version of this cover - without the 'Never Land' part at the beginning, which he was so enthusiastic about, that he insisted I share it with others; first on the Heartland forum, later with the rest of the world. When he came over to Belgium for the second time about a year later to witness Ahrayeph's first live concert, I had tacked on the 'Never Land' part as a surprise for him (he really loved that song, the entire nine minutes of it), to thank him for his friendship that had led him to come all the way here to support me (and have copious amounts of Duvel now that he was here anyway). Afterwards, he told me it was a truly moving experience. The video of the concert, which I've released on Ahrayeph's Youtube channel, consisting of video shot by friends and fans and which accompanies this new version, is testament to how much he enjoyed it. You can see it for yourselves. It is my way to celebrate that decade of friendship now that James isn't here to celebrate it with me. I might have re-recorded the song and made the video anyway to surprise him with it, but as it now stands, it's my tribute to the memory of a man I was proud to call my friend. I'm sure he would have liked it, even if he'd still tell me to GET BENT! for being too emotional. Oh well...
You can read the origina story of the cover below...
This cover tune was born out of both frustration and respect.
Respect, for the fact that after 20 odd years (at the time this song was written by Eldritch and Pearson), The Sisters could still churn out an excellent tune.
Frustration, because the only time I could listen to this song was during live gigs of varying quality and bootlegs of those live gigs in crappy quality.
So I decided to record my own take on 'Summer', and in the process, I threw in a bit of 'Never Land', as a debt of gratitude to a very close friend.
Unfortunately, it is not downloadable, not even for free. The lovely Mr. Eldritch would certainly skin me six ways from Sunday if I would consider doing that. So enjoy it for what it is, where it is. Right here. In Sunset Yellow, of course...
released November 4, 2016
'Never Land' section : Words and Music - Andrew Eldritch
'Summer' : Words - Andrew Eldritch, Music - Adam Pearson